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June 30, 2011

Matusz: Time to regroup

Brian Matusz did his best to put on a positive face after he got the news that he was being sent to Triple-A Norfolk to work back into shape, but the hurt was written all over his face. This has been a terribly frustrating time for a young man who was 7-1 with a sub-.2.00 ERA during the final months of last season and looked like he was ready to own the No. 2 slot in the Orioles rotation.

"It's going to be tough,'' he said. "I'm not getting it done up here. It's not fair to the team. I need to get down there, work with Mike Griffin and get back where I was before."

There continues to be questions about Matusz's health, but he made it crystal clear that he is "100 percent healthy." Manager Buck Showalter would not guarantee that Matusz is 100 percent, but he said a DL assignment was not discussed when he met with Matusz after the game.

"I'm not going to smugly say he's not (hurt),'' Showalter said. "I can only go on what he tells me."

Matusz said he believes that his mechanics are fine and that he needs to get down to Norfolk and rebuild his arm strength, put on some muscle and improve his overall conditioning. Brady Anderson has been working with him and said he will head down to Norfolk in a few days.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 10:40 PM | | Comments (15)
Categories: Just baseball


Is Brady Anderson a pitching guru, or is he just the guy who discreetly helps players who need to "put on muscle"?

maybe the Bungling Orioles should call the Yankees and ask to speak to Phil Hughes and the Yankees medical and training staff.
That kid mysteriously lost 4-5 mph off his fastball. A 6 week trip to the DL and last night he was back up to 94 in a 6 inning stint. He walked one guy.

The standings are shaking out right now and no surprises, except maybe how the Orioles are still close to the Blue Jays.

I like the plan. There is no hurry to get Brian back. The Norfolk coaches will be worth their weight in gold to get Matusz into his winning physical & mental self.

Matusz has Brady '51 home runs' Anderson working with him. And there continues to be "questions about his health". Somethings not adding up here.

What is going on with these young starters? Bergesen, Tillman, now Matusz, have all taken huge steps backwards. I realize that the effects of an injury can sometimes take a while to get over, but this is getting ridiculous.

Pete it's clearly evident that brain M is out of shape.He looks like a wet mop out there after the first inning and looks like he weighs about 150lbs, there is something wrong with him.How does a organization that supposedly puts so much emphasis on player development fail to develop and keep players performing at the level that they envisioned. This team is going backwards instead of producing players that will eventually help this team get out of the mud.I have far less hope going forward with this team now then i did 2 years ago. Seriously it's time to change GM's and get a younger guy more in tune with today's game.Something has to give???

No other choice really. He was hurting the club, not ready to pitch whatever the issue (physical or not) is.

It's sad that 2 years in a row, the best pitcher the previous year arrives messed up to Spring Training. Bergy last year, Matusz this year. Jake, are you listening?

Since he is working with Brady, maybe he can give him steroids to build up. In fact the whole team should start "juicing". At least we'll have a winning team before they get tested.

He will be back. If he needs any inspiration, just remember that Roy Halladay got sent back to the minors for being ineffective in his 2nd full season - "During the 2000 season, Halladay sported a 10.64 earned run average (ERA) in 19 games, 13 of which he started, making his 2000 season the worst in history for any pitcher with at least 50 innings pitched.[9] At the beginning of the 2001 season, Halladay was optioned to Class A Dunedin Blue Jays to rebuild his delivery.

Halladay's fastball was clocked up to 95 miles per hour (153 km/h), but it had little movement, and his pitches were up in the strike zone, which was ultimately the reason why his 2000 season was so unsuccessful. He worked with former Blue Jays pitching coach Mel Queen. The problem, Queen realized, was Halladay’s total reliance on his strength—his attempt to overpower batters with straight-ahead pitches. Within two weeks, Halladay had altered his arm angle for a more deceptive delivery, and added pitches that sank and careened.[10] Instead of throwing over the top, he chose to use a three-quarters delivery (the middle point between throwing overhand and sidearm). Originally a fastball pitcher, he became reliant on keeping his pitches low across the plate, regardless of the type of pitch thrown. The adjustments proved successful. After a month and a half, he was promoted to class AA Tennessee, and a month later, to class AAA Syracuse. By mid-season, he was back in the Blue Jays’ rotation. He posted a 5–3 win–loss record with a 3.19 ERA for the Blue Jays in 16 starts in 2001." - courtesy of Wikipedia

He turned out OK. I's not saying Matusz will be as good as Halladay, I'm saying he can and will come back.

Unfortunately, this is a severe set-back because he was counted on being a front of the rotation pitcher #2 starter at worst.

There is no certainty that Matusz can regain his Sept form & production. It would be nice, but no certainty. Wally Bunker was a one yr wonder.

No one else on the staff or in the organization on the horizon can replace what Matusz was supposed to be. Bergesen ? Tillman ?

Britton will be very, very good, but he & Arrietta will not be nearly enough by themselves. Bundy is at least two yrs away.

Btw, the offense can not make up for the loss of Matusz. No way. No how.

I was all for this until I go to the part that mentioned "rebuild arm strength" and Brady Anderson. Then the thoughts of "Uh-Oh" and "Steroids" came to mind . . .

The type of strength building that Matusz needs doesn't come in a week or two. He is going to have stay down for the rest of the season and continue to train hard right into the off-season. He needs to work more on legs and core than he does arm strength.
I was really hoping that Showalter would put a much stronger emphasis on strength training for the entire team coming out of the gate this year.

When does enuf become enuf?

This team can't hit, can't field, can't pitch. Sure, the record is better than last year at this time, but it still stinks. And it's getting worse. Every year, there's just so much hype. Yet, reality for the orioles never matches the hype. Ever"

Yes, we have some young players, as do many teams. But come on, it's just not happening. It never does.


Matusz need to hook up with Terrence Cody, and get on the happy meal diet, as well as ask B-Rob for his drug dealer's digits. That's how he gets back in shape.

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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